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problems with vaio hard drive turning off

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Stephen Sinclair, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. Hi, wondering if I can get some help here...

    I bought a used Vaio almost a year ago, PCG-GR390, and it has been
    working *perfectly* for all this time. I have been very very happy with
    it. I use it with Windows as well as Debian Linux. Anyways, in the
    last couple of days it started doing something _very_ strange... after
    using it for a while, I hear a little noise and it is the HARD DRIVE
    TURNING OFF. Weirdest thing. The computer still functions, but as soon
    as it tries to access the harddrive I get a bunch of I/O errors and I
    have to reboot. Needless to say I'm afraid I'm going to lose some work
    if I continue to use it this way. It happens about twice a day now.
    (Not to mention that fsck has to run every time I boot the computer now,
    which kills the filesystem..)

    Anyways, my problem is I can't figure out how to determine the source of
    the problem. Usually when hard drives die, you notice data getting
    corrupted, but I've never heard of it just shutting off. I'm afraid
    that it's NOT the hard drive, but some sort of power issue on the
    motherboard. (If that's the case, I guess it's time for a new computer..)

    But I don't want to go and spend $150 on a new hard drive only to find
    out that it's not the right thing to fix. How can I determine what the
    problem is?

    (Ps. it happens in both operating systems, with and without the battery,
    I can't find a reliable pattern yet...)

    Stephen Sinclair, Dec 18, 2004
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  2. Stephen Sinclair

    Quaoar Guest

    The first thing to do is obtain the drive fitness or diagnostic utility
    from the vendor, run it. Since this occurs in both OSs, it is a
    hardware problem at some level. You can try running a temperature
    monitoring utility like HMonitor.exe if the drive reports its
    temperature. Remove and reseat the drive. Check for boot sector
    viruses, a problem with the boot manager you use, etc., but most likely
    it is the drive itself that is failing and the vendor's utility should
    diagnose it.

    Quaoar, Dec 20, 2004
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  3. Thanks for your reply.
    I thought of temperature, but when i remove it after a failure it's not
    really all that hot. (Just a little warm.)
    I may try a monitor program as you suggested, I hadn't thought of that.
    However, I'm glad to hear you think it is the drive rather than the
    motherboard. If it is the drive, I don't mind buying a new one. (I
    have a personal policy to not trust any drive that starts acting
    weird... back up everything and replace it a.s.a.p!) What I was afraid
    of is that it's possibly something more serious. Since this is a
    laptop, if the motherboard has a problem it means buying a new computer,
    which is sort of out of the question. Thanks for your input.

    Stephen Sinclair, Dec 21, 2004
  4. Stephen Sinclair

    bobb Guest

    Go to BIOS, turn off ALL power management and see what happens.
    bobb, Dec 23, 2004
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